Thursday, September 27, 2012

RSPCA Continues to Investigate NSW Piggery

Last Friday 21 September 2012, RSPCA NSW carried out an unannounced random inspection of the piggery in Southern NSW that is currently under investigation for animal cruelty. The piggery had improved conditions, had less pigs on the property and were given further instructions to follow.

RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David OShannessy said that the RSPCA became aware of the animal cruelty allegations and animal welfare issues at the piggery in August after the footage had been released publicly. An inspection was conducted at this time and random inspections continue until investigations are finalised.

“The inspections are conducted to assess compliance with the previously issued written directions – to manage the condition and welfare of the pigs on the property,” said Chief Inspector OShannessy. “The inspections  are unannounced and no prior warning is provided by the RSPCA of the impending visit.”

Regulating the piggery’s practices in regards to the slaughter of pigs for human consumption falls under the jurisdiction of the NSW Food Authority. However, the RSPCA can confirm that pig production is being phased out as no sows for mating remain at the property.

“The only animals that currently remain on the property are the weaner and grower pigs. With no sows, there is no breeding and the numbers of pigs housed at the property will continue to decline as the weaners are grown out.”

The video footage is currently being investigated and witness statements from this footage is required to further investigations and use the evidence in court.

“These witness statements will form an essential part of the investigation. It is possible that the evidence contained in the footage will be ruled inadmissible at court if we don’t receive these statements.”

Enquiries also continue into the search for individuals being depicted in the video.There are no orders currently in place that prohibit these individuals from working in any animal holding facility or slaughter house. Restrictions on individuals may only be imposed by the court at the conclusion of court proceedings.

Investigations and enquiries into the NSW piggery are ongoing and the RSPCA will confirm the charges once prosecutions have been intiatied.

The welfare of animals in NSW is protected under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) 1979 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation which are administered by the DPI and enforced by NSW Police, RSPCA and Animal Welfare League.

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